Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bug (2006, William Friedkin)

Tense as hell, and rare in that the tension stems primarily from the unhinged nature of the film's principal characters. Yes, there are moments of shock, and by the time the principals have wallpapered the set in tinfoil the style has long since gone off the deep end, but it all feels like the extension of the main characters' frenzied personalities. With such ratcheted-up-to-11 material, you need completely committed performances, and Michael Shannon and Ashley Judd don't let us down. Lots of reviews have questioned why a woman would take in a guy as nuts as Shannon is here, but Judd's damaged goods too. She's had problems with dangerous men (I doubt her ex-husband is the only one) and there's the issue of her missing kid. So when Shannon- strange and intense but surprisingly gentle to her- comes around, he may be crazy, but he's the RIGHT kind of crazy for her. P.S.: Friedkin is back, making his best movie in two decades. I only wish that meant more... Rating: 7 out of 10.

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